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­What criteria do you think should be applied to determine whether a person is engaging in an act of cultural appropriation


In the last decade, much discussion and debate concerning cultural appropriation has occurred in the United States. Cultural appropriation has been defined as the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture. Controversy and debate about this topic occurs in many areas of our society, from what constitutes appropriate Halloween costumes and how to wear jewelry and clothing from cultures not ones own (if at all) to whether or not elements from one culture can be placed into a different environment, and so on.

For this assignment you will be conducting research into cultural appropriation and addressing the criteria below in a research paper. As you conduct your research, please highlight, underline, or make note of important or persuasive points that you see authors making in their work, as well as where you see arguments that you think fall short.

  • ­What criteria do you think should be applied to determine whether a person is engaging in an act of cultural appropriation or whether that person is acting appropriately in her use of taking or using things from another culture?
  • For this assignment, you are encouraged to use examples from popular culture, explore references to different public figures and artwork discussed in the essays you read, and employ other ideas to help you create your list of criteria.

Research Paper Criteria:

  • Your writing should be a minimum of 500 words.
  • In the first part of the research paper, please explain your criteria to determine whether someone using cultural items that are not their own as appropriate or not.
  • Then, explain each criteria you identify along with any quotations and examples you have found in your research.
  • Finally, please offer additional reflections on the idea of cultural appropriation.
  • Please use APA formatting for any citations or resources used.


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